Former Newark City Hall Employee Pleads Guilty To Producing Fraudulent Birth Certificates
NEWARK, N.J. – A former Newark City Hall employee today admitted producing fraudulent New Jersey birth certificates, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.
Cory Cooke, 45, of Newark, New Jersey, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Susan D. Wigenton in Newark federal court to an information charging him with one count of producing false identification documents.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
Cooke was previously employed by the City of Newark at its Office of Vital Statistics and was responsible for issuing official New Jersey birth certificates. From August 2013 to October 2013, Cooke produced four fraudulent New Jersey birth certificates using four different individuals’ personal identifying information, which Cooke had acquired from a conspirator. After producing the fraudulent New Jersey birth certificates, Cooke gave the documents to his conspirator, who subsequently sold them.
The count of producing false identification documents to which Cooke pleaded guilty carries a maximum potential penalty of 15 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Sentencing is scheduled for Feb. 23, 2015.
U.S. Attorney Fishman credited special agents of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations (ICE HSI), under the direction of Acting Special Agent in Charge John P. Woods in Newark, with the investigation leading to today’s guilty plea.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney J. Jamari Buxton of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Criminal Division in Newark.
Defense counsel: Stephen N. Dratch Esq., Livingston, N.J.